New Zealand-based entrepreneur, Wendy Oliver, has a passion for honey that has been honed over seven generations.
“It’s in my blood,” Oliver said. “I grew up with a table of fresh food and fresh, good quality honey. And it’s still with me today—a love for the beautiful New Zealand landscape and the produce that comes from it.”
Born into a seventh generation farming family, Oliver has honey running through her veins, combined with a lifelong respect for the natural world. It’s a recipe that—along with some 30 years of working in the honey industry—has led to her launching passion project, Bella New Zealand Manuka Honey, five years ago.
“We called it ‘Bella’ as we wanted to convey that the product is a beautiful gift from New Zealand,” said Oliver. “It was also my late-grandmother’s name.”
But perhaps most importantly for the honey aficionado, was that the business name made a statement in an industry traditionally dominated by men.
“Surprisingly, given that most consumers of honey are women, almost all of the main honey manufacturers are owned by men,” said Oliver. “We wanted an appropriately feminine name to highlight our point of difference.”
Produced by bees that pollinate the flowers on the manuka bush, the resulting dark honey is widely recognised as one of, if not the, best honey varieties on earth.
Totally unique to New Zealand, the unique healing properties of the honey is something the indigenous Maori population have known for centuries. And Oliver said that both she and her family were aware of its ‘superfood’ status long before the term was coined.
“I always believed that the honey was magical,” she said. “It has so many nutrients and properties—it’s great for your wellbeing, it’s sustainable, and it tastes great too!”
Indeed, today the honey is lauded for its health benefits, which include supporting wound healing, combatting infections, and helping treat acne and skin scarring.
Unsurprisingly, the ‘wonder honey’ now has a fanbase that stretches far beyond the borders of its homeland—as Oliver has discovered during her five years in operation.
“We’ve gradually moved more and more into serving international customers,” she said. “We sell in Japan, which is now one of our major markets, alongside Sweden, Egypt, the U.S. and, of course, Australia.”
Selling on Amazon.com to gain access to a huge audience, was a really positive experience for Oliver and paved the way for her to sign up as a seller on Amazon Australia when it launched in the country three years ago.
“It was an easy decision to make,” she said. “Working with Amazon gives us access to a very large customer base and while Amazon takes care of the shipping and transactions, we’re left to concentrate on other aspects of the business. It’s a no-brainer!”
Looking to the future Oliver said that expanding further afield is on the cards, as is a product range expansion, “we have something in the pipeline,” she said, but, in general, the focus for Oliver and her team is to keep doing what they’ve done since Bella’s formation: heroing the sustainable, natural, and quintessentially Kiwi, manuka honey.
“We are both New Zealand AND manuka honey enthusiasts,” said the entrepreneur. “As farmers and food producers, we’re passionate about the preservation of the environment and pride ourselves on the sustainability of every drop of manuka honey.
“We’re just so proud of our products—along with the fact that they’re uniquely Kiwi—and we want to share the honey and let people around the world experience it too.”
Bella New Zealand Manuka Honey is one of the hundreds of NZ businesses selling on Amazon.com.au. See more.